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pricing out snow removal

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by ericsteiner925, Mar 7, 2014.

  1. ericsteiner925

    ericsteiner925 Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    I officially run a lawncare business, mostly mowing and landscaping, but have advertised snow removal for many years on it. If we get any jobs, it goes my my friends uncle who has done it for 15+ years. Well, now I am seeing what type of money he makes in the winter, and will be getting into it myself next winter.

    I so far have had a few residential customers hit me up wanting it next year, as well as 2 commercial customers....

    My question is, how do you quote for snow removal? I have seen what my friends uncle does 2-4 inches he sometimes charges $275, 5-8 $375, etc.....

    But how he came to that conclusion, I don't know. There is one commercial client who wants a snow quote asap.... its an entire neighborhood that I would have to plow.

    Any thoughts on pricing? Some customers want a flat fee per inches and not hourly.
  2. Triton2286

    Triton2286 Senior Member
    Messages: 653

    Well how do you price for all your other work?

    Same idea.
  3. LawnGuy110

    LawnGuy110 Senior Member
    Messages: 196

    There are several ways I have seen it done. You can do per push pricing which would be a price per push depending on how much snow has accumulated, there is the time tested hourly price, which would include your labor and the additional price of the truck you will be plowing with (dont quote me on this but you can get anywhere from 60-150 per hour where I am in Northern Virginia) Then there is also the seasonal price which can be useful for those winters where we dont get much snow, but can really suck in the hard winters. Personally I believe that the money you make for doing nothing in those slow winters when we dont get much snow makes up for the money you probably will lose when we get alot of snow. Personally, I dont make the prices for where I work, I just drive a truck, but those are the three ways I have seen it done. Everybody has a different way of doing it and some methods work better for one person and another method may work better for the next person. Just depends on how your business is set up I suppose. Best of luck pricing it out.
  4. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Maybe you seem what comes in,you need to see what left after all expenses are paid for.You ever plow before?
  5. ericsteiner925

    ericsteiner925 Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    I've never plowed before, but have been in the truck when someone else has, so I see how it all works....just wasn't sure how they priced.
  6. Grassman09

    Grassman09 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,808

    You might be better off to have your plow guy quote them to you and take a cut for yourself instead of just giveing them away. The residentials you may want to keep for yourself.

    Will your curet insurance co cover you for snow work? How much is that going to cost? Add the cost of a plow a salter maybe someone to help shovel fuel etc.
  7. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Watching and doing are 2 different things and to try and bid on some bigger stuff you maybe over whelmed.
  8. thelettuceman

    thelettuceman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,218

    You should start and think small jobs. I am talking residential driveways. Get your experience there. You are not far from me so area pricing is similar. Driveways that I do go from $30 to $80 depending on length and width. When you are feeling confident with that. Think a little bigger.

    I have been at this for 35 years and I am no expert. I would not even know how to price a big box store parking lot. I also do not have the equipment. Just me and a pick up truck

    Good Luck / Rick
  9. Whiffyspark

    Whiffyspark 2000 Club Member
    from SOMD
    Messages: 2,403

    Sub for someone
  10. forwhlr989

    forwhlr989 Member
    Messages: 36

    I would sub as whiffy said. I learned a lot as a full time sub the last few years, and not nearly as much stress as having your own accounts. Good luck!
  11. crabbybob

    crabbybob Junior Member
    from 01440
    Messages: 27

    Your friend's uncle would be your best source of advice since he's in your area and seems to have experience.
  12. scott3430

    scott3430 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,008

    I agree with Bob, talk to your friends uncle for some thoughts on how to quote jobs.
  13. Flawless440

    Flawless440 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,543

    Ask lots of questions, do they have a spec sheet to follow (seeing if they want a seasonal, hourly, per push price or all 3)..
    Who is current contractor (is he a cheap company or high end)
    What type of service they want (2" trigger?)

    Feel out the vibe of the customer, a lot of times they will show me current contracts..
    Measure the parking lot... a lot of guys are $125 acre push, $100 to salt it..
    My pricing is all over the board- i feel out the customer, are they cheap or high end wanting walks don't care about price..
    A lot of dumb lots like gas stations are bottom dollar, they want done for $50..

    I run 5 routes that are close together.. Trucks avg $200-$350 hour..

    Don't sell your self short.. You can make a lot of $$$... Read past post about bidding
  14. Jman78

    Jman78 Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    Overwhelmed in CT

    I just finished my 2nd yr of snow removal. I started with one customer who owned 3 rental properties, and a 4th property of a relative of mine. All I had was an '05 Chevy Silv 1500 and an old snowblower.Through the coarse of last year we had one substantial storm where I took over for a homeowner who was not satisfied with the work his current guy was doing. I'm doing my best now to look at that as a blessing in disguise. Thankfully my patience is in good standing. lol. I live in the Hartford, CT area. At the beginning of this past winter I blew up. I added 7 new properties with an additional 5 customers. Total...12 properties - 11 residentials, 1 commercial (2500sq' lot).
    8 customers
    Speaking honestly I became overwhelmed. My main focus was clearing snow and I fell behind on my billing to the point I lost track of how many storms we had. Febuary in New England got hammered and I have been frantically looking for a free website that has a recorded history of snowfall. I don't want to overcharge expecially to my homeowners who are all retired elderly. At the same note I don't want to miss out on a payment that i'm due. I believe if I am off it is only by 1 storm. Although that would be a devistating hit to me finacially if I short myself of an owed bill. I couldn't get a snow depth on a local news station website. I paid for the farmers almanac that gave everything BUT the snow depth and now I almost feel like to bite the bullet & pay $100 for another website to risk if they show the snow depth. I haven't billed since Dec....PLEASE HELP!!!
  15. 24v6spd

    24v6spd Senior Member
    Messages: 615

    NOAA national weather service website at weather.gov will have the information you need.
  16. nepatsfan

    nepatsfan Senior Member
    Messages: 727

    weather works has snow depth too.

    To the OP pm me and I could help you out.
  17. gasjr4wd

    gasjr4wd Senior Member
    Messages: 287

    other than hitting google for:
    Hartford, Ct snowfall totals
    I know in Delaware the state gives official snowfall totals. I'm sure your state or county, etc. does the same. That would give you dates and totals.
    While you are at it, google:
    online invoicing
    and you can find one that even lets you send bills with your cell phone while you are sitting in the lot.
  18. Jman78

    Jman78 Junior Member
    Messages: 4


    Thanks for the help.
  19. Jman78

    Jman78 Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    this helped

    ctextremeweather.com gave awesome info on snowfall for my area. Saved me for my records...now if everyone pays I'll break even.
  20. gasjr4wd

    gasjr4wd Senior Member
    Messages: 287

    doesn't work.
    I'm just wondering what it looks like.